BY-LAWS. Article I. The members of this Association shall be such persons as shall pledge themselves to the payment of not less than one dollar per year for a period of ten years. The annual payment of one hundred dollars for ten years shall constitute a scholarship. Every member shall be entitled to vote at the an- nual meeting. Art. II. The various Ramabai Circles which have been or may be formed throughout the country may become branches of this Association. Any member of such branches, pledging the payment of not less than one dollar per year for ten years, shall be a member of this Association, and shall be entitled to vote at the annual meeting. Art. III. The officers of this Association shall consist of a President, not less than three Vice-Presidents, a Treasurer, a Recording Secretary, a Corresponding Secretary, a Board of not less than seven trustees, an Executive Committee consisting of not less than seven persons, and an Advisory Board of three members in India. All said officers shall be elected at the annual meeting, and shall hold their offices until others are elected and qualified in their stead. Any vacancies occurring in any of the offices of this Association may be filled by the Executive Com- mittee. Art. IV. The Board of Trustees shall manage and control all the property and affairs of the Association. Art. V. The annual meeting of the Association shall be held in March of each year at such time and place in Boston, Mass., as the President shall appoint. Art. VI. The Board of Trustees shall meet semi-annually at such time and place as its Chairman shall appoint. The Execu- tive Committee shall meet monthly at such time and place as its Chairman shall appoint. This Committee shall attend to all the business details of the Association, and report to the Board of Trustees as often as such Board shall direct. It shall also make an annual report to the Association. Special meetings of the Board of Trustees or of the Executive Committee may be called by their respective Chairman, when necessary. Art. VII. The Advisory Board shall report to the Trustees upon such matters as may seem to them important, and upon such special matters as may be referred to them by the Association or by the Board of Trustees or by the Executive Committee. Art. VIII. These By-laws may be amended at the annual meeting of the Association or at any meeting called for the pur- pose, by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting. U-g^Z^Z *t&?^£o ?,v>;u1 The Kamabai dissociation. %eport of the ^Annual (Meeting held march 18, 1896. REPORT OF THE ANNUAL MEETING The Ramabai Association HELD MARCH 18, 1896 BOSTON PRESS OK GEO. H. ELLIS, 141 FRANKLIN STREET 1896 \ t OFFICERS FOR 1896. President. Rev. LYMAN ABBOTT, D.D. Vice-Presidents. Rev. E. W. DONALD, D.D. Rev. EDWARD E. HALE, D.D. Miss FRANCES E. WILLARD. Mrs. QUINCY A. SHAW. Rev. GEORGE A. GORDON, D.D. Mrs. J. S. COPLEY GREENE. Board of Trustees. Mr. ALPHEUS H. HARDY, Chairman. Mrs. QUINCY A. SHAW. Miss PHEBE G. ADAM. Miss ELLEN MASON. Hon. JOHN D. LONG. Mr. EUGENE B. HAGAR. Mr. E. HAYWARD FERRY, Secretary. Treasurer. Mr. E. HAYWARD FERRY, 222 Boylston Street, Boston, Mass. Executive Committee. Mrs. J. W. ANDREWS, Chairman, 36 Rutland Square, Boston. Miss PHEBE G. ADAM. Miss HANNAH A. ADAM. Mrs. A. HAMILTON. Mrs. GEORGE A. GORDON. Mrs. B. F. CALEF. Mrs. HAMILTON A. HILL. Mrs. ELLIOTT RUSSELL. Mrs. GEORGE N. DANA. Miss S. G. ANDREWS. Mrs. W. C. WILLIAMSON. Recording Secretary. Miss ANNIE G. KELLY, Channing Street, Cambridge. Corresponding Secretary. Miss A. P. GRANGER, Canandaigua, N.Y. Principal of Sharada Sadan. PUNDITA RAMABAI DONGRE MEDHAVI, Poona, India. RAMABAI ASSOCIATION. The Ramabai Association held its Eighth Annual Meet- ing in Trinity Chapel, Boston, on March 18, 1896. In the absence of the President, the first Vice-President, Rev. E. W. Donald, D.D., presided. The meeting was opened with prayer, all present joining in the Lord's Prayer at the close. Dr. Donald then said : — During the last year I have had occasion to read with great interest, and then to reread with increased interest, a long communication from Ramabai with regard to the per- plexity in which she found herself during last year, touching the relation of a non-sectarian and non-religious school to that which frequently happens, and which we ought to be glad does happen, — the conversion of some of the members of the school to Christianity, and their receiving baptism. Those of you who have not seen this communication from Ramabai have very slight conception of the difficulties, and at times the danger, in which the heroic little woman has found herself. This communication, to which I refer, was written to the Association in the hope that it would return to her some specific direction as to her conduct in this mat- ter in the future. I am glad to say that the letters which Dr. Hale and Dr. Abbott and Dr. Gordon and myself wrote in reply thereto, all took substantially the same ground ; namely, that she knew more about the matter than we did, that she was far wiser than we were, and that she evidently possessed a tact, born of her true womanly and Christian character, to which none of us would be so bold as to lay claim. I mention this to show that the work of Ram- abai has not been a monotonous one, and also to show that she is at present in need of something more than funds. She wants the Christian sympathy of the women of America in this very difficult position in which she finds herself. For I think that almost any one who has ever had the re- sponsibility of directing a work of this, or of a similar, sort will be the first to acknowledge that it is not alone financial support, however ample, which makes the work easy. It is the proved assurance of a deep sympathy, and, more than that, of an intelligent comprehension of the problem at which one is working. I shall be very sorry if at this meet- ing there shall not be some expression given of our deep sympathy with Ramabai in this particular phase of her work. I am sure that in that far-off land, and contending against these singularly uncivilized customs, with the love of Jesus Christ deep in her heart, and yet unable freely to express it, a word of sympathy from you, the women of Boston, will be more gratefully received by her than even the very largest financial contribution to her work that she has ever received. The records of the last meeting were then read by the Recording Secretary, Miss Annie G. Kelly, and were ap- proved. Miss Kelly read also the following letter from the President of the Association : — March i, 1896. Dear Madam, — A special preaching engagement will pre- vent my being at the Annual Meeting, March 11, of the Ramabai Association. Apart from that special engagement, church duties at this season of the year would make it diffi- cult, if not impossible, for me to be away. I would like, how- ever, to be permitted to join with the Association specially in the greetings and cheer which, I am sure, will be sent to the brave woman who is working so bravely, so cheerily, so faithfully, and, alas ! so solitary, for Christ and his little ones. It is easy to say God bless her ! Let us have some share in giving her the blessing. I enclose an autograph* for her benefit. Yours sincerely, Lyman Abbott. *This autograph was Dr. Abbott's signature to a generous check. 5 The report of the Corresponding Secretary was then read by Miss A. P. Granger. REPORT OF THE CORRESPONDING SECRETARY. In regard to the seventy-two circles in the United States and Canada auxiliary to the Ramabai Association, there is little to tell beyond the encouraging facts that interest is well sustained, and that the deficiency in their contribu- tions, reported by the Treasurer last year, has been made up in this. In fact, his receipts this year include the pay- ment of two annual pledges from several of the circles. This is the case with the Virginia Auxiliary under the care of Mrs. Hobson, the annual pledge of $150 due in Febru- ary, 1895, having been paid, and $50 also sent toward this year's pledge. As many of the friends in Virginia con- tribute but twenty-five cents annually, the sum reported represents much labor in collecting. Knowing Ramabai, and believing that " God originated and will guide the move- ment," Mrs. Hobson has kept bravely at her post in spite of many cares and her own ill-health, and has had able helpers in Mrs. C. R. Harrison, of the Lower James River, and Miss L. Wilson, of Portsmouth, Va. Mrs. G. N. Dana, of Boston, also reports $133.50 received from friends and clusters for the work. It had been hoped that Mrs. Andrews, chairman of our Executive Committee, by visiting the Eastern circles during the past year and telling of her experiences while with Ramabai in India, would greatly stimulate and extend an intelligent interest in the Sharada. Sadana. But, since ill- ness and unexpected home cares have three times deferred these visits, those who have the care of the circles must do the best they can without her valuable assistance, and, by making themselves thoroughly familiar through the reports with the past and present condition of the school, fit them- selves to inspire confidence in the work for which they so- licit help. Possibly the circles may yet have the pleasure of hearing Mrs. Andrews. The majority of the circles are already in their ninth year, having been formed before the Association was organ- ized. Let there be no falling off, I beg, in contributions in the remaining years. Where it is possible, increase them, and do not be misled by the sum reported by the Treasurer as received this year. Remember that it includes two pay- ments from many of the circles, also that the balance in hand at the beginning of the year was made up largely of pledges paid to the end. The Sharada Sadana was opened in March, 1889 ; and the Association is therefore responsible for its support for three more years, though by their pledges but two more payments are due from the circles. That is our obligation according to our constitution ; but is there not a higher obligation ? The Sharada Sadana is the child of this American Association. Ramabai had hoped the school would be self-supporting by the end of the ten years ; but that proves to be quite impossible, owing to the con- tinued opposition to women's education in India, and to distrust of Ramabai because she is a Christian. Does the duty of the parent cease when the youth attains his major- ity ? Does he not rather secure to the son the opportunity for self-support ? As to the future support of the Sharada Sadana, there is thus far no solution but the fruit farm, of which mention was made in last year's report. It was after careful thought and calculation that Ramabai made her appeal for it in November, 1894, and after equally careful thought that a few friends contributed sufficient money for the purchase and partial development of this farm. Some contributions have also been received from the circles. About $1,500 is still required, and immediately, that the farm may be productive by the time that the Sharada Sadana must depend upon it for an income. Though, ac- cording to its constitution, the Association cannot hold such property as the farm, and all contributions for it must be specified as for this purpose only, cannot we of the Associa- tion, by completing the amount required, thus secure future welfare and usefulness to the Sharada Sadana, the beloved child of our Ramabai Association ? A. P. GRANGER, Correspo7iding Secretary. Boston, March 18, 1896. The Treasurer, Mr. E. Hayward Ferry, presented the fol- lowing report, which was accepted. Mr. Ferry explained that the Mango Farm accounts were kept entirely separate from the accounts of the Treasurer of the Association, and that contributions for that purpose were simply received by him and remitted to Ramabai. TREASURER'S REPORT. For Year ending Feb. 2Q, i8q6. RECEIPTS. Annual subscriptions (including life member- ships), $4,993.00 Contributions to General Fund, 188.53 Scholarships, . 1,000.00 $6,181.53 Interest on current accounts, $18.70 Income (scholarships), 238.20 256.90 Total Receipts, $6,438.43 EXPENDITURES. Salaries and school expenses, . . .... $6,500.00 Annual meeting, March 11, 1895 (6,000 reports), 267.67 Cables, 13.53 Stationery, postage, printing, and sundry ex- penses, 145-65 Rent Safe Deposit Box (one year), 10.00 $6,936.85 GENERAL STATEMENT, MARCH 1, 1896. Life memberships (last 2 years), $910.00 General Fund, 7,805.49 Scholarships, $10,900.00 Income, 1,297.75 12,197.75 $20,913.24 Real Estate in Poona (cost $21,002.54), . . . $11,336.48 Balance (cash) : — Provident Institution for Savings, Boston, $3,259.67 Suffolk Savings Bank, Boston, .... 3,037.28 Bay State Trust Co., Boston, 3,279.81 9,576.76 $20,913.24 Total cash on hand, March 1, 1895, $10,075.18 March 1, 1896, 9>576-76 Decrease, $498.42 9 Total Receipts of the Association, March r, 1896: — Subscriptions, $78,424.69 Interest, 3,507.00 $81,931.69 Total Expenditures, 72,354.93 $9>57676 E. & O. E. E. HAYWARD FERRY, Treasicrer. Received too late to be reported : — Indianapolis Circle, $42.00 Honolulu Circle, 14.00 Boston, Mrs. Dana's, 6.00 Boston, 16.00 $ 78.00 FORM OF BEQUEST. I give and bequeath to the Ramabai Association, incor- porated under the laws of Massachusetts, the sum of Dollars, to be applied, under the direc- tion of said Corporation, for the purpose of assisting in the education of child-widows in India. The receipt of the President or Treasurer shall be a sufficient discharge to my executor for the same. MANGO FARM ACCOUNT TO MARCH 1, 1896. Receipts, $4,526.19 Remittances, $4,360.00 Cash on hand, 166.19 $4,526.19 E. & O. E. E. H. FERRY. TO CONTRIBUTIONS OF RAMABAI CIRCLES, SOCIETIES, ETC. CIRCLES. Baltimore, Berea, Ky., Y. P. S. C. E., . . Boston, " Mrs. Dana's, . . . Brooklyn, " Plymouth Church, Bryn Mawr College, .... California Association, . . . Camden, " King's Daughters' Steadfast Circle," .... Camden, " Willing Workers," Canandaigua, " Granger Place School, Central City, Neb., .... Chelten Hills, Chicago Cleveland, Cloverdale, Cal., Cohasset, Concord, N.H., Concordville, Constantinople, American Col- lege for Girls, Cooper, Mich., "Q. E. Mis- sionary Society," .... Delhi, N.Y., Miss Gilchrist's S. S. Class, Denver, Col., Evanston, 111., Fairmount, N.Y., S. School, . Farmington, Miss Porter's School, Farmington, N.Y., W. C. T. U. Franklin, Fremont, Neb., Geneva, N.Y., Germantown, First " Second, . . . Gilbertsville, N.Y., .... Hartford, Honolulu, Eighth Year. $100.00 239.60 133-50 150.00 37.00 10.00 5.00 37.00 6.00 [63.00 10.50 13.00 50.00 22.00 5.00 32.00 23.00 25.00 [ 13.00 88.00 1 1 5.00 58.00 1.50 1. 00 3.00 245 3- 00 $300.00 < §1,050.00 18.33 l8,575-09 1,508.50 3,270.00 IOI.OO 422.50 7,I55-04 20.00 15.OO 984.OO 471.60 1 29.OO 160.OO 2,260.70 IIO.95 20.00 73-0° 413.00 280.50 54.16 3.00 2.00 85.00 25.00 9.26 300.00 2.45 182.25 199.50 3 fl 5 1,361.60 563-29 603.00 175575 44.40 1 1 CONTRIBUTIONS OF RAMABAI CIRCLES, SOCIETIES, ETC.— Continued. CIRCLES. Indianapolis, " Girls' Classical School, Ithaca, Cornell University, Jacksonville, 111., Jamestown, N.Y., Kansas City, Lansing, Leroy, London, Ont, Los Angeles, Louisville, Warren Memorial Presbyterian Society, . . . Luverne, Marengo, 111., W. C. T. U., . Mills College, Cal.,* Tolman Branch Montclair, Montesano, Wash., .... Montreal, Naperville, New Haven, New Hope, Pa., New York, " " Alice Spence- Prentice Memorial," . . . New York, Miss Merrill's, " Missionary Society, Church of the Strangers, . Niagara Falls, Normal, 111., Northampton, Smith College, Nyack, Oakland, Cal., Ogontz, Pa., Ogontz School, Orange, Oswego, Pasadena, Cal., Pawtucket, R.I., Petaluma, Cal., Philadelphia, Eighth Year. 13-5 A $261.61 28.OO 22.00 71.00 47.00 I28.0O 32.00 10.00 48.00 141.00 69.00 182.00 16.00 19.00 6.00 177-63 44.00 11.00 75.00 31.00 52.00 65.00 19.00 85.00 2.50 15.00 22.08 20.00 < $576.00 600.00 2,253.21 437-75 1. 00 I4I-45 45.16 343-22 SI7-4I 610.40 5I3-55 1500 1300 11.36 20.00 543- 00 3.00 1,936.01 1. 00 1,628.34 72.00 2,125.13 300.00 121.00 25.00 217.00 142.90 1,745-3^ 457-50 90.90 488.21 211.25 383.00 290.79 832.20 98.25 1,279.50 12 CONTRIBUTIONS OF RAMABAI CIRCLES. SOCIETIES, ETC. — Continued. CIRCLES. Philadelphia, Josee " Manorama, . . Sahaya, . . . Pine Bush, N.Y., ..... Plainfield, N.J., Plainville, Conn., Portland, Ore., Providence, Quincy, 111., Riverside, Cal., W. C. T. U., . Roselle, N.J., Saco, Me., San Francisco, Miss Hamlin's, San Jose, Cal., " Cal., State Normal School, Santa Barbara, Cal., .... Santa Rosa, Cal., Sherwood, N.Y., ..... Sioux City, Sparkill, Springfield, Mass., .... Stamford, St. Louis, Tacoma, Wash., Toledo, Toronto, Vineland, Virginia Association, . . . Warren, 111., Sunday School, Washington, Wilmington, Del., . . . . Eighth Year. $324.00 I3I.OO 11.00 50.00 12.00 3.00 81.85 61.00 5.00 14.00 24.00 123.00 55.00 19.00 120.00 44.00 67.00 240.31 15.00 200.00 85.OO 32.00 $4,993.00 $56 50.00 $188.53 $1,000.00 33 O * o H $75°° 2,443-5° 929.00 88.00 564-55 103-55 3015 780.35 853.00 19.00 156.25 74.67 9T.OO 612.05 55-oo 98.25 10.00 1,464.95 63570 709.00 706.00 1,041.37 102.00 34.00 122.00 2,194.82 10.00 1,050.00 4.18 1,012.50 687.36 $78,424.69 E. & O. E. E. HAYWARD FERRY, Treasurer Ramabai Association, 13 The following letter from Pandita Ramabai was read by the Corresponding Secretary : — PANDITA RAMABAl'S REPORT. Dear Friends, — It is with great pleasure and deep grati- tude that we, the workers and inmates of the Sharada Sadan, send our greetings to you. Although seven years have passed since we began to work, it seems but a little while to us. Our time is so completely filled with various duties that the days appear too short to accomplish all that we have to do. We thank our loving Heavenly Father for His countless mercies and guidance, and we do praise His holy name with joyful hearts. We are very, very grateful to Him for giving us such good and sympathetic friends as you are ; and we .thank you most heartily for all your goodness and generous love toward us. You will be glad to know that our school is progressing. The matriculation standard — i.e., the high-school stand- ard — is added to it now ; and all the teachers are working faithfully. The kindergarten is going on pretty well. All but one of the trained kindergartners have gone away ; and, owing to the illness of the oxen during many months of the past year, we have been unable to get the little ones from the town. So the number of kindergarten pupils has dwindled down to eighteen. But now the work has been revived. The oxen are well, and draw the cart nicely. New kindergartners are being trained, and I hope that the kindergarten will soon regain its former state. The pupils generally are trying to profit by the advantages offered them. Seven years of faithful working ought to produce some satisfactory results ; but the constant withdrawal of pupils by their guar- dians, at the least alarm received by them when people or the newspapers criticise us, places us at a great disadvan- tage. Still, with all the drawbacks and difficulties which we have to meet, it is some satisfaction to see four young widows 14 happily remarried and settled in their own homes ; four girls employed as teachers outside this school, — one of them having opened a kindergarten of her own, — and working successfully in the field of education ; four others learning to nurse in different hospitals ; and three employed here as pupil-teachers. Two have volunteered to do the noble work of rescuing and helping widows who have fallen in difficulty ; two have undertaken to reach ignorant women, and teach them as they go from house to house ; and one has devoted her time to teaching low-caste women. I do hope and pray that these girls may fill their places worthily, and serve God faithfully by doing the various duties which He has assigned to them. The number of pupils is not quite so large now as it was last June, when we had sixty-five on the roll. We have forty-eight pupils at present. Thirty-nine of these are widows, and the rest non-widows. The chief cause of this falling-ofl of the number is the conversion of some twelve girls to Christianity: I reported to the Executive Committee shortly after their baptism under what circumstances they were allowed to have the freedom to choose their own religion. All the girls who have embraced Christianity are indepen- dent. They have never been induced by any one to leave their ancestral religion to accept Christianity. Each one has followed her own conviction, and has done what she thought was right. I used to send out some of them to re- ceive religious instruction from some zenana missionaries, at their own request. Others had learnt the Bible before they came here. When they asked my permission to be baptized, I gave it to them, as I was bound to allow them to follow their own convictions according to the rules of the school. But they were given to understand that I could not keep them in the school after their baptism unless our American friends consented that they should stay here. The question as to what should be done with the girls if some felt inclined to change their religion had never come up until now, and therefore I had not asked the Executive Com- mittee about it. So I felt rather doubtful, and hesitated to let these girls do what they liked. The girls relieved my anxiety by saying that they were prepared to leave the school and all to go away, or to occupy the humble position of housemaids to earn their livelihood, if I felt any difficulty in keeping them here after their baptism, but that they would and must follow the dictates of their conscience at all risks. Under these circumstances, I could not prevent these girls from openly declaring their faith in Christ.* But, when my Hindu brethren and sisters came to know about it, they began to say that I had converted the girls, and that I was in duty bound to do so, since I received all help from Christians and had made promises to convert many girls by all means. Christians will know better than to believe such nonsense ; but some of the articles written against me by my Hindu brethren will show how easy it is for people to believe anything, if they be blinded by preju- dice. You in America understand and have long enjoyed religious liberty. You have allowed my young sisters of the Sadana to choose their own religion, to adhere to their Hin- duism or to embrace Christianity or to remain indifferent, as they like ; and thus you have been practising what you preached, and have put us under great obligation, and de- serve our gratitude. But the people of this country do not know what liberty of conscience means, nor have they ever enjoyed it. You and I have tried on several occasions to make our object known to the people here. We have often told them that we mean to give perfect liberty of conscience to the independent students, and to the guardians of the minor pupils. We have also tried to explain how we under- stand the term " religious freedom," but in most cases we have failed to make people understand us. You know that none are so blind as those who will not see. Our dear * All those who were not employed as pupil-teachers asked me to give them the work of servants, and were employed as housemaids. Some of them are still doing the same work. i6 friends and brethren do not choose to understand us, nor are they willing to be fair. The non- Christian people all over this presidency, with a few exceptions, were shocked at the news of the conver- sion of these twelve girls to Christianity. They are mourn- ing for these girls, for they think that they are lost to society, and that the nation has been made weak by this loss of strength. These good people never think of the thousands of young widows who are yearly led astray, and whose lives are wantonly destroyed by men like themselves. They never think of mourning for them, and for the hundreds of innocent lives that are sacrificed upon the unholy altar of Caste. Ah ! my dear friends, I beg of you not to be sur- prised at this. We are living in a strange time, and most people in this country look upon things in a different light. Many things good in themselves are considered as great evils, and the real evils are seldom or never noticed by them. Men who live in open sin, daily violating the rules of moral- ity, and who are plagues of society, are received and hon- ored everywhere in their caste ; while a man following his conscience, either by marrying a widow or by embracing Christianity, is made an outcast, and persecuted. A superficial knowledge of the philosophies and religious books of India has been misleading many Western people to think that the Hindus are the sole possessors of superior spirituality. I am not surprised that the good men and women of the West, who only see the outside of the grand structures of the Oriental philosophy, are charmed with them. This reminds me of the sight I saw at Agra, while I vis- ited that city in company with the chairman of our Execu- tive Committee, Mrs. Andrews, about two years ago. One day we went into the fort, to see the grand palaces of the Moghul emperors. There we saw the great Khas Mahal, or the emperor's private palace, where he used to keep hun- dreds of beautiful women shut up for life. The guide i7 showed us the Rani's private rooms, the gardens and grand marble buildings once occupied by the kings and queens. He also showed us the beautiful pleasure-tower called Saman Burj. Visitors are shown all that is beautiful there, and they go away carrying very pleasant impressions of Agra with them. I was not satisfied with seeing the outside beauty of those "poems in marble," but wished to see the dungeons, and the place where the unfortunate women used to be confined and hanged at the pleasure of the king. The guide at first denied the existence of such places in the palace ; but, finally, — on obtaining a promise to get a lit- tle more money for his trouble, — he consented to show the dungeons. He opened a trap-door on one side of the palace, let us in, and guided us about, showing us the many small and large underground rooms where the queens who had incurred the king's displeasure used to be shut up, tort- ured, and starved, until it pleased his majesty to set them free. The guide then lighted a big torch, and took us to the furthest end of the prison, into a room underneath the Saman Burj, or Jasmine Tower. The room was very dark and octagonal, with a deep, dark pit in the centre, and a big beam placed on the walls right over that pit. This beam, beautifully carved, served for hanging the un- fortunate women who once occupied the throne of the king as his queens, but had by some unknown cause fallen under his displeasure, and had to suffer such a cruel and ignoble death. Their lifeless bodies were let down into that dark pit, whence a stream carried them to the waters of the Jumna, to be eaten by crocodiles. Thus the poor, miserable wives of the Moghul emperors suffered torture and death in that dark hell-pit under the pleasure-gallery, while their cruel masters and rivals sang songs, enjoyed life, and made merry over their grave in the beautifully decorated grand Saman Burj. I think but little of those lovely palaces, but always remember seeing that dark room, and compare it with similar places of torture which exist in many sacred i8 towers of India. If the walls of that horrible room had the power of speech, oh, what stories of human cruelty and misery would they tell to-day! I beg of my Western sisters not to be satisfied with look- ing on the outside beauty of the grand philosophies, and not to be charmed with hearing the long and interesting dis- courses of our educated men, but to open the trap-doors of the great monuments of ancient Hindu intellect, and enter into the dark cellars, where they will see the real workings of the philosophies which they admire so much. Let our Western friends come to India, and live right among us. Let them frequently go to the hundreds of sacred places where countless pilgrims throng yearly. Let them go round Jagannath Puri, Benares, Gaya, Allahabad, Muttra, Bin- draban, Dwarka, Pandharpur, Udipi, Tirpatty, and such other sacred cities, the strongholds of Hinduism and seats of sacred learning, where the Mahatmas and Sadhus dwell, and where the "sublime " philosophies are daily taught and devoutly followed. There are thousands of priests, and men learned in sacred lore, who are the spiritual rulers and guides of our people. They neglect and oppress the widows and devour widows' houses. I have gone to many of the so-called sacred places, lived among the people, and seen enough of those learned philosophers and possessors of superior Hindu spirituality who oppress the widows and trample the poor, ignorant, low-caste people under their heels. They have deprived the widows of their birthright to enjoy pure life and lawful happiness. They send out hundreds of emissaries to look for young widows, and bring them by hundreds and thousands to the sacred cities to rob them of their money and their virtue. They entice the poor, ignorant women to leave their own homes to live in the Kshetras, — i.e. holy places, — and then, after robbing them of their belongings, tempt them to yield to their unholy desires. They shut the young, helpless widows into their large Mathas (monasteries), sell and hire them out to 19 wicked men so long as they can get money, and, when the poor, miserable slaves are no longer pleasing to their cruel masters, they turn them out in the streets to beg their liveli- hood, to suffer the horrible consequences of sin, to carry the burden of shame, and finally to die the death worse than that of a starved street dog ! The so-called sacred places — those veritable hells on earth — have become the graveyards of countless widows and orphans. Thousands upon thousands of young widows and innocent children are suffering untold misery and dying helpless every year throughout this land, but not a philosopher or Mahatma has come out boldly to champion ' their cause and to help them. The teachers of false philosophies and lifeless spir- itualities will do no good to our people. Nothing has been done by them to protect the fatherless and judge the widow. If anything has been done by anybody at all, it has been done by those people who have come under direct influence of Christianity. Education and philosophies are powerless before the caste rules, ancient customs, and priestcraft. That is why our educated men and our learned Sadhus are so indifferent toward their own brothers and sisters. The educated men and learned priests do not like to move about. They don't want to take the trouble to go about to see how dreadfully the widows have to suffer, and how many thousands of lives are destroyed by their priestly brethren. They mourn over a few women who have the boldness to declare themselves as free women, and to fol- low their conscience ; but they say nothing of the thousands who die every year or lead shameful lives. I earnestly beg the women of America and England to come to India and live in our sacred cities, — not living in European and American fashion, but living like the poor beggar-women, going in and out of their dirty huts, hearing the stories of their miserable lives, and seeing the fruits of the sublime philosophies. Let not my Western sisters be charmed by the books and poems they read. There are many hard and 20 bitter facts which we have to accept and feel. All is not poetry with us. The prose we have to read in our own lives is very hard. It cannot be understood by our learned brothers and comfortable sisters of the West. All my friends in America and England have been very loving and sympathetic to me in my work. They have en- couraged me and cheered me up by their words and deeds of kindness. Our honored friends, Dr. Abbott, Dr. Hale, and Dr. Gordon, have helped me and cheered me with their kind advice, and comforted me by expressing their sym- pathy, for which I am most grateful to them. I cannot close this letter without saying how sorry we all feel for the loss our former President has sustained in the death of his dear son. We deeply sympathize with him, and pray to the loving Father, who knows how to help each one of us, to strengthen our dear friend to bear the bereavement. The Executive Committee and the Board of Trustees, who have strengthened my hands and helped me out of every emer- gency, have my everlasting gratitude for their kindness to me. The pupils of the Sharada Sadana send their grateful love and thanks to you all. Wishing you all a Happy New Year, and praying that the unspeakable joy which is to be had only in worshipping the good God in spirit and in truth may be yours now and for- ever, I remain yours most gratefully, Ramabai. Sharada Sadana, Jan. 31, 1896. REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE. To the Members of the Ramabai Association : The infrequency and meagreness of the reports of the Sharada Sadana, given through the Lend a Hand during the past year, were largely due to an inexplicable loss of letters between the Executive Committee and Ramabai. So frequent were the losses as to justify the suspicion that there might be " a spy within the camp." Again, in the letters that reached the committee were histories of some of the pupils and accounts of school trials that could not be given to the public. In many home schools for Chris- tian girls there are trials of a nature that command the silence of the teacher, unless she speaks for advice or aid. Such trials in a school like Ramabai's are intensified a hun- dred-fold ; but she dared not ask for the sympathy and help- ful advice of the Executive Committee, for which her heart was longing, until one of its members had seen and appre- ciated the nature of those trials. As Ramabai has given you an account of the present condition of the school, the report of the Executive Com- mittee will but supplement hers in a general way. , The Corresponding Secretary, in a clear and concise manner, has placed before you the serious question now confronting Ramabai and the Association in regard to the future support of the Sharada Sadana. The Executive Committee cannot too strongly indorse what she has re- ported, and they hope with her that a partial solution of the question may be found in an income derived from the mango farm. 22 THE MANGO FARM. A year has passed since the purchase of this farm was made, but through a misunderstanding, evidently caused by the loss of letters mentioned, the beginning of the work was delayed many months. Now it is progressing as rap- idly as possible in the hands of an experienced farmer, with Ramabai as general supervisor. Twenty-five hundred orange-trees are already in the ground, and the remainder of the field is being prepared for the mango trees. A living spring has been found upon this field, which will give it a constant supply of water. Ramabai now feels that her dream of a farm for the sup- port of the school is near realization, and she invites all her good friends here to a mango treat on the Sharada Sa- dana farm in the spring of 1900 ! A growth so rapid may seem incredible ; but a young tree transplanted from a nur- sery to the compound, two years ago, is now in blossom, and in another year the fruit will be allowed to come to perfection. We regret to say that nearly $1,500 is needed to put the farm in a condition to make success complete. And it is needed at once, that the trees may be bought and planted before the rainy season begins in June. Sums large, and sums however small, will be gratefully received and acknowl- edged. They should be sent to the Treasurer of the Asso- ciation, who keeps the school and farm accounts entirely separate. As the Association could not legally hold this property the generous friends who provided Ramabai the means to purchase wished it to remain in her hands. She, with her usual forethought, has secured it for the benefit of the school after her death. Again and again she expresses deep gratitude for this generous gift. And she has faith that the good Father will put it into the hearts of other kind friends to complete a gift that is to help her in the 23 work to which she is giving her whole heart, sometimes at the risk of life, — as in her latest attempt to rescue a num- ber of poor widows. PILGRIMAGE. Early in the fall Ramabai learned that Muttra and Bin- draban of North India, sacred to the god Krishna, were filled with poor widows, lured there by the priests. The sad stories filled her heart with pity and indignation. She re- solved to rescue a few at least, to accomplish which she must live in the midst of the people. Accordingly she and a young friend, dressed in the coarse clothes of a religious beggar, started on their pilgrimage. A three days' ride in hot, dusty cars, without even the comforts of travelling, brought them to Bindraban. Priests met them at the sta- tion. Choosing one as a guide to find them shelter for the night, they were taken to a small, dirty room, where, with- out food and without sleep, they waited for the dawn. As soon as light appeared they attempted to bathe ; but the sacred waters of the Jumna that cleansed the soul of all sins were too filthy for the body. Its banks were covered with dunghills, the streets and alleys were filled with the same, and vile odors permeated the town. Here Ramabai lived — if living it could be called — for two weeks, going in and out of the filthy huts, with open eyes and ears ; suspected be- cause she did not visit the temples and worship the gods, but protected by the mendicant's dress. She found hundreds upon hundreds of widows, old and young, who are enticed there yearly by the priests, to whom they soon give their lit- tle all, if anything they have. Then the older ones are taken as concubines or as servants, until they are thrust into the streets to give place to fresh victims. The younger widows are taught that the life of sin into which they are tempted is pleasing to the god Krishna, and will lead to a life of happiness hereafter. Those who resist the tempta- tion are left to take care of themselves as best they can. 2 4 Some starve to death. Many commit suicide. Those who yield to the temptation are, in time, turned into the streets, to wander about nearly naked, picking crumbs of rice from the dirt for food, and dying of horrible diseases, forsaken by man, and seemingly forsaken by God. No wonder that Ramabai exclaims : " Oh, the sin and misery of it all ! The heartless cruelty of man to woman, which I saw on every side, is beyond all description. I thought I had seen the Sodom and Gomorrah of the old times, and I wondered at the long-suffering of God." She found seven widows glad to leave such a life and place themselves under her protection. But the priests, dis- covering their intentions, turned the key upon six of the girls ; and no further access to them could be gained. The seventh widow had arrived so recently that the priests had gained no control over her. Ramabai left the place, thank- ing God that she had been permitted to rescue one poor child, though almost at the sacrifice of her own life. The foul air, the hardships of living, the mental agony caused by sights so horrible and tales so pitiful, led to an illness that brought her nearly to the grave. CONVERSIONS. At the same time the Sharada Sadana was suffering from the biennial storm of misrepresentation and abuse which hitherto had raged against it without any justification. But the recent conversions of which Ramabai has written have, from the Hindu standpoint, given her brothers ground for strong accusations. And, judging merely by appearances, many here might say that Ramabai had at last broken her pledge to her people. But they who know that her whole life has been a life of truthfulness, unselfishness, and loyalty, know also that she has been false neither to her own nor the A.merican people. The letter from the converted girls, which will be found 25 at the end of the reports, speaks eloquently for them, and exonerates Ramabai from the charge of proselyting. One of the girls is the deserted wife alluded to in the last report, whose fate would have been sealed, and her life henceforward a life of shame, had assistance reached her one day later. Her conversion was reported at once to the relative who had begged Ramabai to rescue her. The fol- lowing extracts are from his reply : " I see that you alone have been used by God to take S. from here and give her shelter. You were a stranger to us, and had no connection with this part of the land. Your work was long confined to Bombay, but God is now pleased to extend it to this part of the country [Bengal]. I am really glad to know that S. has been saved from the hand of the devil. Though I am not a Christian, I take delight in finding any one saved by the name of Jesus Christ ; and, if one wishes to be saved by that pure name, why should he not follow him ?" The next letter is from a repentant husband, who evi- dently removed his wife from the school during the excite- ment caused by the conversion. He writes : " I shall bring my wife to you just after Christmas is over, when I shall have leave. I shall be willing to abide by all the con- ditions of our existing agreement. Please to admit her, disregarding my want of steadiness. You full well know the magnitude of the forces that hamper the progress of the present generation, and it was not very strange that I proved no exception to the general charge laid too de- servedly at the door of my countrymen. It was my first ex- periment, and my former education and experience in life could not carry me very creditably through the struggle. But, ever since I left your presence, self-accusation has im- bittered the peace of my mind. Now again I have resolved to renew our agreement, and may God induce you to keep her in your Sadana. Please give me one chance of re- trieving what I have done." Unfortunately, Ramabai's brothers do not wish to believe 26 she has used no proselyting means over her pupils ; and they seem not to comprehend the meaning of "unconscious influence." Some deny that there can be such an influence, but they feel it all the same, as a school incident will illus- trate. One of the pupils, a very orthodox Brahmin, who wears on her person and worships a little god of stone, was ill in bed several days. On recovery, she thoughtfully asked what made the girls who attended Ramabai's prayers so different from those who did not. The former, she said, were very kind ; they came to see her with words of sympathy and the desire to do something for her. From the others she re- ceived neither sympathy, assistance, nor calls. They were simply indifferent to her sufferings. The difference was felt, if it could not be understood. When the serious questions raised by the conversions and baptisms confronted Ramabai, she submitted them to the Executive Committee, who were as unprepared for them as was Ramabai. They felt, however, that there could be but one answer in regard to these brave girls remaining as pupils in the school. The letters were referred to the President of the Association, Dr. Abbott, and the Vice-Presidents, Dr. Hale, Dr. Gordon, and Dr. Donald, who quickly responded by sending Ramabai letters of sympathy and encourage- ment and wise suggestions, that lightened her heart and strengthened her courage. We trust that she will heed the caution for renewed vigilance to keep the Sharada Sadana wha*t it has been and still is, an un sectarian institution of absolute religious freedom, where no attempt shall be made to bias the pupils in one direction or another, where, as she has said, the Vedas, Koran, and Bible shall stand side by side, and where the pupils shall be free to bow down before the images of stone and brass, or to worship God,, the Father of all. 2/ PROPHECIES. Bishop Brooks had the utmost confidence in Ramabai, and in her methods of work. At one of the annual meet- ings he spoke hopefully and prophetically of the future, and closed by saying he felt sure that this work, carried on as it was in the spirit of Christ, would lead to blessed results. Four years ago Dr. Hale prophesied that, in five or six years, eight or ten of Ramabai's pupils would be going out to establish schools like the Sadana ; some would become teachers, others would marry. In less than that time twenty girls are fulfilling in part Dr. Hale's prophecy. Four are happy wives of educated men ; four are in hospitals, prepar- ing for situation as nurses; ten are, in one way or an- other, engaged in educational work; and two are devoting their time to rescuing their tempted and fallen sisters. Seven years only have passed since the Sharada Sadana opened its doors and admitted two pupils, one of whom was a child-widow who had several times attempted to end her misery by ending her life. To-day she is the intelligent companion of a college professor, a happy wife and mother. To-day thirty-nine widows are enrolled among the pupils of the Sadana, with applications for the admission of widows increasing despite the recent conversions. To-day the Sharada Sadana is the owner of a beautiful compound, a home bungalow, a handsome two-storied stone building for study and recitations, and a farm that will be soon yielding golden fruit for the support of the school ; and all this without one rupee of debt ! To-day, also, twenty of its pupils, rescued from lives of ignorance and degradation, are tasting the joys of a life hitherto unknown to them, — a life of usefulness, happiness, and love. And twelve, by the silent influence of one simple Christian life, have been led from darkness into light. The close of Dr Hale's prophecy may well be the close of its fulfilment, as follows : u We have in this bungalow 28 without a name that anybody can speak, one little woman who is alive with faith, hope, and love. So long as it please God to keep her in this world, she will succeed, be- cause she is acting on the three eternities, — Faith, Hope, and Love, which abide and continue forever." THE INDIAN NATIONAL CONFERENCE. It may be remembered by many of you that, during the first year of Ramabai's school, the Indian National Confer- ence held its fifth meeting at Bombay, attended by six thou- sand men ; and that through Ramabai's influence the first women delegates were then admitted. She herself spoke so eloquently and effectively on the resolutions relating to early marriage and the disfigurement of the widow that her re- marks were received with "storms of applause, with laughter and tears," and the two resolutions were carried by a large majority. This created a great interest in the Sadana at the time. Last December the Conference was held in Poona, at- tended by thousands of representatives of different races, tongues, and religions, to discuss the vital questions of the day. The strongest speeches against existing social evils are reported to have been made by Dr. Bhandarkar, ex-Vice- Chancellor of the Bombay University, and Mr. Justice Ranade, of the High Court of Bombay, both of whom were members of our late Advisory Board. In view of this fact, and because of the grave misstatements made by some of the Hindus visiting this country, not only in regard to the treatment of child wives and widows, but concerning Rama- bai and her school, it cannot seem irrelevant to quote here the views of Dr. Bhandarkar on early marriage and widow- hood, than whom there cannot be a higher authority : — " The misery of our widows has been the subject of fre- quent remark. I will therefore not detain you long by a full exposition of it. I will only make a general observation 2 9 that that society which allows men to marry any number of times even up to the age of sixty, while it sternly forbids even girls of seven or eight to have another husband after one is dead, which gives liberty to a man of fifty or sixty to marry a girl of eleven or twelve, which has no word of condemna- tion for the man who marries another wife within fifteen days after the death of the first, is a society which sets very little value upon the life of a female human being, and places woman on the same level with cattle, and is thus in an unsound condition, disqualifying it for a successful com- petition with societies with a more healthy constitution. Oftentimes the marriage of a girl under certain circum- stances proves her death-warrant. This matter has within the last few years forced itself powerfully upon my obser- vation. A young man of thirty or thirty-five loses his first wife. Straightway he proceeds to marry another, who is a girl of ten or twelve. That girl dies by the time she reaches the age of twenty. Another takes her place immedi- iately after : she, too, dies similarly. Then comes a third, who meets with the same fate ; and a fourth is married by the persevering man, and is eventually left a widow before she is out of her teens. A great many such cases have occurred within the last few years and amongst our educated men. The medical men whom I have consulted say that the results are due to the marriages being ill-assorted ; i.e., to the great inequality between the ages of the girl and of the strong and vigorous man. I do not know how else to characterize these cases except as cases of human sacrifice. Surely, if the men who have married girls successively in this manner are educated men, their refined sentiments and feelings ought to make them spare poor, innocent girls, and marry a grown-up woman, a widow, if an unmarried one is not to be had." If this is Dr. Bhandarkar's "general observation," what must be the " full exposition " ! During the conference, men from all parts of the country called at the Sharada Sadana. Unfortunately, Ramabai was away from the city at that time. A friend wrote her that many of the speakers highly commended her school, and those who referred to the recent conversions were ad- vised to open a rival school, if they objected to Ramabai's. 3Q THE PRESS. The eloquent speeches of the reformers, the references to Ramabai, and the recent conversions, brought out the press of India afresh. It seems, however, with not the same degree of venom as before, save in a few instances in which the language was so absurd as to defeat its own object. One editor challenges the reformers to show the genuine- ness of their concern for the widows by starting a home for them on the same lines as Ramabai's. Another calls upon them to start societies and schools for the education of the women of India ; for the recent conversions in the Sadana had brought painfully home to him the danger that men- aced their Religion and Society by a longer neglect of such action. Yet, with a sublime indifference to consistency and accuracy, he adds : " But, as to Christianity, it seems to us that a true Hindu has no reason to quarrel with her. She is a latter-day child of Hinduism ; and, with the few essentials she gets from her parent, she has brought about miraculous results. However defective and poor her philosophy may be, the parent Hinduism has every reason to be proud of her youngest child." God knows that there is sin, degradation, and misery enough in a Christian land ; but the wrongs are neither sanctioned by public sentiment nor covered by the cloak of religion. And the so-called child has done what may well put the so-called parent to shame. She has taken woman from "a level with cattle," and has given her an honored place in the home, in society, and in the country, — a place that woman does not hold save in a Christian land. RAMABAI AND THE SHARADA SADANA. Although Ramabai is " first a saint and then a fiend," the respect in which she is held to-day is wonderful. Her only fault in the eyes of her people is in being a Christian Reformer, who has the courage of her convictions. 3i Among her brothers are reformers whom we cannot but honor for their heroism in breaking the iron fetters of caste. And we trust that the time is not far distant when they will honor Ramabai for her greater heroism in becoming a Chris- tian as well as Reformer. It is evident that the influence of the Sharada Sadana has extended far beyond the confines of Poona. It will extend more and more as new avenues of usefulness open for its pupils. One is already opening through " The Female Medical Aid " system, introduced by the Countess of Dufferin and approved by the queen, for the purpose of preparing native girls, through Western methods, to become trained nurses and medical practitioners. There is a crying need of native female doctors for the women of India, especially the high caste, who are dying by hundreds — ay, thousands — because of the insurmountable difficulty with which the caste rules surround the female patient and male physician. Imagine one of our distin- guished doctors trying to examine a tongue and feel the pulse with a screen between himself and his patient, and make a diagnosis of the case without asking a question ! Still another opening for the pupils has suddenly pre- sented itself. There are in India two hundred thousand deaf-mutes, with only two schools established for their benefit, one in Bombay, the other in Calcutta. Mr. Banerji, the principal of the Calcutta school, is here to study the American methods of teaching the deaf and dumb. It has been sug- gested by an enthusiastic, devoted friend of these children that he should employ female teachers in his school, and that some of the bright pupils of the Sharada Sadana might be trained for the work. We hope that both he and Rama- bai may receive the suggestion as worthy of consideration. Mr. Banerji has recently visited her and the school. He is with us to-day, and may be able to say if the plan seems at all feasible. 32 We shall be sorry if aught said in the reports to which Mr. Banerji has listened seems to him severe or unjust. We ask him to remember that this Association is not con- sidering the past glories and present beauties of India, all of which it can appreciate and admire. It is dealing with hard and cruel facts. It is constantly brought face to face with the oppression, the degradation, and unspeakable mis- ery of a certain class of his unfortunate sisters to whom Ramabai is giving her life. We do honor the men who, appreciating the blessings of a Christian land, come here, not for their own aggrandize- ment or pleasure, but to seek the sympathy and aid of Christian people for their suffering brothers and sisters. We wish them all success ; and we pray that, when the work of this Association ceases, if cease it must, there may be a hundred Ramabais, Bhandarkars, Mozoomdars, and Banerjis standing where one stands to-day to champion the cause of the child-wife and child-widow of India. IN MEMORIAM. It is with deep regret and sorrow that the Executive Com- mittee, in closing their report, record the death of another friend and associate, Hon. Alexander H. Rice. Mr. Rice was Ramabai's loyal friend, and had the utmost confidence in her methods of work. He read her correspondence with interest, surprised and charmed with the rare combination of sweetness, simplicity, and keen business ability found in her letters. Mr. Rice took an active interest in these An- nual Meetings. He rarely allowed anything to interfere with his duties as chairman of the Board of Trustees. And the Executive Committee could rely upon him for sympathy and advice in any and every emergency. The memory of this courteous officer, wise counsellor, and genial friend, will long remain fresh in our hearts. Judith W. Andrews, Chairman. For the Exectttive Committee. Boston, March 18, 1896. 33 At the close of Mrs. Andrews's report, Dr. Donald read the following resolution, presented by Mr. Alpheus H. Hardy of the Board of Trustees. It was unanimously adopted, and ordered to be engrossed upon the records of the Association : — RESOLUTION. Whereas the Hon. Alexander H. Rice was one of the incorporators of the Ramabai Association, and faithfully served its interests as chairman of the Board of Trustees until his death, — therefore Resolved, That in his death this Association loses a friend whose active interest contributed much to its sup- port, a counsellor whose wisdom and business experience increased its efficiency and assured the right conduct of its affairs, and an officer who was a strength and inspiration in the formation of its work. We shall miss his courteous and kindly leadership, his warm sympathy and constant devotion, in recognition whereof we desire to add this tribute to his memory. Voted, That the foregoing preamble and resolution be engrossed on the records of the Association. Babu J. N. Banerji, the principal of the school at Cal- cutta for the education of deaf-mutes, was then introduced- He spoke as follows : — Ladies and Gentlemen, — It is a great pleasure, indeed, to meet you on this pleasant occasion, and to say a few words, although in a language which is not my own. I am sure every one here has heard the reports of Ramabai and of Mrs. Andrews with great interest. I must acknowledge that I did not know this dark side of widowhood in India. The history of the United States is a history of growth and progress, not merely in the wealth, prosperity, and hap- piness of the people, but also in the higher and nobler sentiments of human nature. Do not suppose that I am speaking in the language of compliment when I say that the charity of America is not bounded by mountains and rivers. Some years ago the American dollar crossed the sea, and brought food and life to the starving people of 34 Russia. That noble woman, Miss Barton of the Red Cross, is at this moment in Armenia, giving food and clothing to the persecuted Armenians. Why, your much-maligned dollar has already been in India ; and the theistic movement, led by Mr. Mozoomdar, has been sustained by American funds. And a beautiful institution in Calcutta, called the Duff College, in memory of the honored name of Dr. Duff, had its funds considerably swelled by American money. Again, the beautiful and unique institution, the Sharada Sadana, is maintained by American funds. Some two years ago I was there, when the new building was being erected. It is the only institution of its kind in the Bombay Presi- dency. There is another near Calcutta, but not so efficiently managed. The Pundita Ramabai is a remarkable woman, — a woman intellectually gifted, a woman of great earnestness and devotion. I do not know any other woman who could so well occupy this position of trust. I entirely agree with the tone of the Executive Commit- tee's report and the report from the institution. No words of mine could heighten their effect. It has already been said to you that I am interested in the education of the deaf. I do not know any other class of people in India whose condition is so pitiable. By the census of 1890 it was estimated that there were about two hundred thousand deaf-mutes in India ; but, for many rea- sons, I am led to believe that the number is much larger. You will be interested to hear how many schools there are for them. For about sixty thousand deaf-mutes, you have about a hundred and twenty-five schools in America. At this rate, we should have at least five hundred. Alas, we have only two ! They are very small day-schools. Thanks to the generosity and godliness of Bishop Meurin, to whom India is indebted for the first school for the deaf. This school was started about ten years ago in Bombay, with but two boys. Twenty-five boys — no girls — are receiving in- struction there now. I have the honor of being one of the originators of the Calcutta school, which was started in 35 May, 1893, with two boys. Twenty-two are now in the institution, — two girls and twenty boys. None of these schools are government schools. The Calcutta school is different from that in Bombay in being entirely unsectarian. The management is made up of men who are Christians, Mohammedans, Hindus, and men of different forms of belief. Even the children profess dif- ferent religions, two of them being Christians. But, al- though the Bombay school is a sectarian school, they do not interfere with the religion of the children. The Bom- bay school has a hundred rupees a month from the govern- ment, that is about $25,— not a hundred rupees per head, but for the whole school. To the Calcutta school the gov- ernment gives no aid. Therefore, it remains for the deaf to look to private charity for aid. It must needs seem strange to you that a country so large, with a population of three hundred millions, should not be able to maintain two schools like that. In the West you are still laboring under the notion that India is rich. Perhaps there was a day when India was rich, but at that time a small sum made one rich. Even a grocer's wife to-day lives more comfortably than a princess of old. There was, indeed, a time when India was the home of civiliza- tion, the cradle of learning and of arts. Many centuries ago, before people knew of this new land which you inhabit, before the fame and name of Rome and Greece were heard of, our fathers had established kingdoms, and had lan- guages and philosophies which still excite the curiosity and wonder of the civilized nations of the West. But those days are long gone by. Centuries of misgovernment and of the domination of a priestly order, to which fortunately or unfortunately I have the honor to belong, have brought their natural consequences ; and we stand now, as the re- ports show, degenerate and degraded. In fact, India is now the poorest country in the world, poorer than even Turkey. I shall tell you in a few words of the social position of 3« the deaf-mutes in India. Unfortunately, the people of India labor under a great misconception about the physical disa- bility of the deaf. They have no idea of the relation be- tween hearing and intuitive speech ; and there are very many who classify the deaf almost with idiots, and they cannot conceive that they are capable of instruction. There are also many people who believe in a previous state of existence ; and they think that the deafness of a deaf-mute is the unavoidable result of misdeeds in his past life, and must be borne with quiet resignation. I shall tell you one story that will illustrate how this belief affects the teaching of the deaf. The father of a deaf-mute boy, who was under my tuition in Calcutta, asked me if it was not wrong to try to teach his son to speak, as he thought his deafness was the result of misdeeds in a previous life. After a moment's pause, I asked him if he took medical advice when his son was ill. On his nodding assent, I said his deafness was no more the result of misdeeds than his illness ; and, if he took medical advice for one, why not for the other ? It is not to be supposed that this father had less affection for his child than you have for your own, but it is very difficult to rise above the popular prejudice of the country. Another difficulty in the way of teaching the deaf is that the children themselves often do not believe that they are capable of instruction. I remember one child refusing to take the trouble when I was going to teach him one day. On being questioned, he expressed to me by signs that it was not possible that he could receive any instruction at all. I was disappointed at this answer; but, fortunately, I had a copy of the report of the Northampton institution for the deaf, and in that there was a picture of a group of chil- dren with a teacher. I showed it to him, telling him that all these were deaf-mutes, but could read and write ; and this had some influence with him. So far, I have been talking about the education of the in- discriminately deaf. But, as this Association is particularly 37 interested in women, let me say that, if the condition of deaf children in India is miserable, the condition of deaf women is worse than that of their suffering brothers. Shut up within the limited area of a wretched house, not knowing anything about the world, and having but rude gestures for communication, they naturally become somewhat peevish, and are looked down upon by the other members of the family and hated by their neighbors. It is not right to say that they have any social position whatever, unless you say that the domestic animals also have a social position. One word more, and I shall have done. At the close of the civilized nineteenth century, when you are thinking of taking photographs of the inner parts of the body, when you preserve the voices of your friends for future use, when you talk and laugh and sing to each other from Boston to Chicago, these poor people in India have no means of com- munication at all. They are distanced by an immeasurable gulf from their next-door neighbor. I wish I had the gift of eloquence to move this audience. But broken words some- times have an effect, more especially from a man in my position, who is speaking for those who literally, not figura- tively, have no means of communication. If any of you should be willing to lend a helping hand to the deaf-mutes, I am sure the Board of my school will be more than grateful, however small the gifts may be. There is another way, already suggested to you, of helping the deaf. When I was in India, I felt the necessity of having women teachers; and what I see here makes me feel that women teachers will do better work than men. Miss Fuller, of the Horace Mann School, suggested to me the idea that it would be possible for Pundita Ramabai to train a few teachers for the deaf. Of course, they will require special education ; but, after their education has been completed in the Sharada Sadan, if Pundita Ramabai could make an arrangement with the com- mittee of my school that I might give them special training, it would be a great service to the deaf-mutes of the land. 3» The Nominating Committee presented the list of officers for the coming year; and they were elected, the Secretary casting one ballot. Dr. Donald introduced the following resolution, which was unanimously adopted : — Resolved, That the Corresponding Secretary be requested to convey to Ramabai an expression of our deep and tender sympathy with her in her peculiarly difficult duty of dealing with the delicate questions arising out of the relations to the school of those of her pupils who have become Christians. In closing the meeting, Dr. Donald said : — Before the meeting is adjourned, I want to say that many of us, as we listened to these reports, have doubtless had come to our memories the remembrance of things somewhat similar here in America. India cannot claim a monopoly of wrongs and dreadful things in the treatment of women by society or by men. But here is the point : this Association does not rest, for its security or for its justification, upon a mass of unpleasant details. It rests for its security and its justification upon this, — that a wrong principle is socially intrenched in India. The business of this Association is to dislodge that bad principle from its social surroundings in India. We have a great many things in America of which we are ashamed, but they do not grow out of any principle which is championed by any large body of people or which is intrenched in any venerable and venerated social custom in America. In India it is the reverse. What we are after is to break down the principle by the retention of which this treatment of widows, which has been described here this afternoon, is possible. When that principle is broken down, the rest will take care of itself. That is the hope, that is the glory, as I understand it, of this Associ- ation, — that it is here to make an intelligent and rational protest against an unintelligent and irrational social prin- ciple in India. We have nature on our side, we have reason 39 on our side ; and they who have both nature and reason on their side are finally to be the victors, for the stars in their courses fight with us, and fight against those who oppose us. [Applause.] The meeting was then adjourned. Sharada Sadan, Poona, July 26, 1895. Our Dear Friends, — Our dear Bai has told us what she wrote to you in her letter. We are very glad to be able to tell you that our hearts have been quite changed and made new by the gracious Lord, and we came out and confessed our faith in Christ. This we have done out of our own free choice. No human being could have wrought this change in us, and no one could have induced us to become Chris- tians. To God alone we give the glory, and hold no one except ourselves responsible for our change of faith. We thank the good Lord for bringing us out of darkness into his saving light. We thank him again and again for put- ting love into your hearts to help us to be free. We thank you, dear good friends, for helping, educating, and loving us so dearly. You have done great things for us, and we shall always remain grateful to you. You have helped us, and made us able to help ourselves. For the present we shall serve you very gladly and willingly, if you allow us to re- main here. We are quite ready to do any kind of work. Our pride and all foolish prejudices have left us, and we shall be contented to be useful to others in any way. We have chosen to serve God, and do not care for the world. Our powers are quite limited ; but we are determined to do something, even though it may be ever so little, for our dear sisters. Please give our grateful thanks and Christian love to all our friends who have done so much for us. We shall always bless you and pray for you all. With warmest love to you, we remain, Your grateful children, VlTTIABAI POWLT. Sarasvatebai. Sukhadabai. Manikarnikabai. Rukminibai. Bhemabai.